I trust by now you have realised that the last thing that happens in the previous blog leads directly to the first thing that happens in the latest.
I missed breakfast.
Well I didn't so much miss it as refuse it at ten minute intervals between 8am and 10am when the kitchen shut. That is both the beauty and the curse of the "snooze" button. I was actually still snoozing beyond 11am but it was badly needed. To my shame I got a cab to The Pleasance to save me walking all the way to Cowgate as I was both achy and late, decided to skip the "Sub Of The Day" and try and hold out to eat until after 3.30pm. Within fifteen minutes of that decision I had a gob full of salt and vinegar "French Fries" (A retro snack of some distinction) which encumbered flyering a little, to say the least. There weren't nearly as many people about as I was expecting and this reflected in a far smaller audience than I expected, resulting in my second-lowest audience, a paltry fourteen people.
Nevertheless, they (And my guest Andy Linden - he of dying pig fame) had a really good time and I was rewarded with a larger-than-expected bucket. If you're reading this for the first time - that is not rhyming slang. The PBH Free Fringe is effectively "Indoor busking".
With an hour and a half to kill before opening a show for Simon Lilley in the same venue, I decided to get my Italian BMT from the Subway and then go and investigate a few other PBH venues. I opted for my most convenient Subway, which was on South Bridge. Big mistake - THEY'D RUN OUT OF TOMATOES!
The 66 points I accrued on my clubcard felt shameful and dirty. That branch is dead to me now.
Here are the results of my survey of other venues (Possibly with intermittent other stuff):
Royal Mile Tavern - 40 capacity approx. Great flyering location, possibly good place for one-man show.
White Horse - 40 capacity. Excellent showcase spot and easy to play when only half-full.
Canons Gait - 100 capacity. Might be daunting to take on myself. Possible location for double-header?
Bump into Chris Addison on Royal Mile (High Street). Have surprisingly involved conversation about how Stand Ups move on to other things but then always want to go back to Stand Up. His theories are based on the previous night's (probably drunken) teachings of Phill Jupitus. I am in total agreement. It's very rare for me to disagree with either Chris Addison or Phill Jupitus. This annoys me.
Whistle Binkies - 100 capacity. Great room but only separated from rest of pub by curtain.
Bannermans - 100 capacity. Improvement on WB but limited spot times as bands after 8pm
Cabaret Voltaire - (THREE ROOMS. (Large Downstairs) Very old, cavernous, great spot for idea I had earlier (I realise this makes no sense to you but I'm not going to divulge an ingenious idea for a show next year now, am I?) (Smaller Downstairs) Odd two-tiered thing. Don't think I'd be comfy. (The Speakeasy) Good room for Star Trek show? 80 seater? Nice warm room, good sound.
It was a worthwhile exercise. I then went back to Whistle's where I bumped into Robbie Bonham and had my first pint of the day. This followed a really enjoyable opening set in the show "The dog ate my birthday cake" with Simon Lilley at 5pm. Now (I thought) I had a two hour wait to go and see a show called "Music Club" which is basically Mike Manera and Mike Belgrave talking about their favourite LPs. How could I not love it. Sadly I didn't notice on the flyer that it said (Not 26th). I hung about outside with my second pint of the day and struck up a conversation with a statue and an alcoholic. The statue in question was called Colin and was taking a break from street performing as a statue. The alcoholic was called Martin and was fucking leathered. I said my goodbyes about 6.55pm, went downstairs to stand in an empty room for five minutes then came back out again, said "Hello" again and left rather sheepishly.
No matter - There was always "Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting".
SBJM are a previously-discussed New York female sketch duo that I took a shine to on one of the first nights I was here, having seen them at PBHASC. Sorry about the abbreviations but if you've read this whole blog you'll know what I mean. It would have been quicker to have spelt that out than tried to explain it. Oh for crying out loud.
They were on in Whistle Binkies and it put me off Whistle Binkies. I got a pint of Deuchars IPA in (A particular favourite) and settled myself down on the comfiest bench in the house. They got a crowd of about 40 people but their reluctance to use anything other than ambient microphones meant that I could often hear the murmur of the pub beyond it was a bit distracting. I also missed some of the things they said and then when they did use the mics they were too loud. Nevertheless, their sketches are great and they went down really, really well. From there it was a little trot back round to The White Horse to do Jools' gig again. Robbie opened, some people I didn't know went on in the middle and I closed. It was excellent. Jools knows how to fill a room and it did make it very easy for us. One of the people I didn't know was and odd little thing called Becky. She sounded annoyingly like Lily Allen and quite clearly had an inner rage that would have terrified most men. She also did a really fucking disgusting act that clearly was a true story and I felt for the girl.
She sounded perfect for Shaggers.
Then I got a text from Nick Coppin asking me to do Shaggers.
Then I asked her if she wanted to come to Shaggers as it might be a good environment for her material and I might be able to get her on.
Then I got another text from Nick Coppin asking me if I would compere Shaggers and if I knew of any other acts who could do it.
Serendipity? Possibly. We walked up to Three Sisters where I got a pint of Guinness downstairs until Nick arrived. I took a few flyers off him and headed on to Cowgate for some late-night flyering (I was getting 25% of the bucket for MC-ing so thought I'd try and get a few more in). I persuaded three Irish girls and the fattest, loneliest geek I have ever seen to come in. Rob Rouse ran past me at surprising speed, waving and smiling as he went. That is indeed one way to avoid getting flyered.
I started the show fine but the audience were really flat. Everyone struggled, no-one appeared to enjoy it that much, I was heartily embarrassed and then there was a healthy enough bucket at the end of it all for Nick to give me £9.36.
I would have been SO FUCKED OFF if someone had DARED to give me £9.36 after a conventional gig but in Edinburgh it was PURE PROFIT! Good job I had only had one pint of KopperBLEURGHHHH pear cider up there or I might have tried to fellate him, such was my joy.
I went outside into the Three Sisters courtyard and my friend called and asked how the weather had been. I said "Miraculously it has not rained for two days". It immediately started pissing down and I had to take cover. Edinburgh, you are a cruel, cruel mistress.
The rain subsided and I walked home via The Newington Fish Bar. Not only is it the best chip shop in Edinburgh but when I said I wanted "Salt and sauce on the chips and vinegar on the fish", the Irish bloke behind the counter gave what he considered to be a knowing and appreciative look (This is how the Bedlamburgh purists would their fish supper) but in fact handed me the best Robert DeNiro impression I have ever seen in a chip shop. I was home just before 2am. Nice early nights, that's what I like, nice early nights.